Facts are the ‘coin-of-the-realm’ in a democracy, but in regard to the flawed Grand Jury report on the homeless, it seems real facts are irrelevant.
No matter which view you take in this ongoing national debate on homelessness, the job of a Grand Jury is to collect facts, real data and be committed to accuracy of investigation and reporting.
In this case they tried to bamboozle the public by gathering information from some, as yet unnamed, “deep throat” with an already committed agenda, doing more harm than good in the process.
I would like to know how the Grand Jury justifies such poor investigating. Why didn’t they contact all the organizations who work with the homeless in Nevada County, like Hospitality House, Divine Spark, Sierra Roots, CoRR, Nevada County Food Bank, Interfaith Food Ministry, Salvation Army, and Common Goals, just to name a few?
If the Grand Jury wants some facts, just ask the people who work within these organizations.
It is tragic how a biased report by the Grand Jury will be accepted as fact by a large number of people and will influence their view of reality. Once a report like this sinks in to the public consciousness it is very difficult to change.
It’s about time the public knew the truth and had some real numbers to go on. Homelessness, and all the problems that go with it, cost the taxpayers dearly.
However, if you support these folks in getting healthy, find housing when possible, and connect them to social services, mental health and addiction clinics, the cost to the public goes down considerably.
Utah has figured this out and finds it much cheaper to pay for housing for the homeless than continue to have them on the street.
Utah has numbers.
So, while this topic is still on the table, and concerns all the communities in Nevada County, I propose a forum where all agencies can get together and have public dialogue.
It’s time we all came together to work on solutions, instead of profiling the homeless and judging them as undesirables and undeserving of our help.
Pauli Halstead lives in Nevada City.